Église Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe - Aiguilhe (Haute-Loire), France
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 45° 02.995 E 003° 52.954
31T E 569499 N 4988874
Quick Description: [FR] L’église Saint-Michel est une église romane située à Aiguilhe, commune limitrophe du Puy-en-Velay, [EN] Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe is a chapel in Aiguilhe, near Le Puy-en-Velay.
Location: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Date Posted: 11/10/2019 1:44:08 PM
Waymark Code: WM11M30
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 0

Long Description:
[FR] Édifiée sur un piton volcanique, le rocher d’Aiguilhe, de 82 mètres de hauteur, l'église dédiée à Saint Michel est accessible par un escalier de 268 marches.

Le rocher est un piton d'origine volcanique, témoin d'une ancienne cheminée, épargné par l'érosion.

L’évêque Gotescalc, premier pèlerin français de St Jacques de Compostelle est à l’origine de la fondation d'une chapelle. La première construction, par le chanoine Truanus, remonterait à 969 et remplacerait un temple dédié à Mercure3. Il est probable que l'institution religieuse ait voulu ainsi opérer une substitution de cultes à la divinité lumineuse Lug-Mercure. Elle est érigée en abbaye au xie siècle.

L'église, édifiée en pierre volcanique, possède un portail orné d'un arc polylobé, caractéristique de l'architecture omeyyade du califat de Cordoue8 qui se répandit dans l'architecture romane française par le biais de l'influence des pèlerins[réf. nécessaire] le long des grandes routes françaises du Pèlerinage de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

[EN] The Chapel of St Michael d'Aiguilhe is a pilgrimage chapel perched atop a needle (aiguilhe) of rock.

Jutting dramatically towards heaven, the rock needle has been a sacred place for thousands of years: a prehistoric dolmen was built there and the Romans dedicated it to Mercury before the Christians built a chapel to St. Michael.

When the area was christianized, the rock was consecrated to St. Michael the Archangel, who is the patron of many high places throughout Europe.

The Chapel of St. Michael was built by Bishop Godescalc and the deacon Trianus in 962. It was a simple shrine built on a central plan: a square sanctuary a tiny apsidole on each side. This original sanctuary and two of the apsidoles still survive today. The chapel attracted many pilgrims, especially since Le Puy was the starting point for one of the main routes to Santiago de Compostela.

In the 12th century, the chapel was significantly enlarged by adding a short nave west of the original sanctuary, an elliptical ambulatory, two side chapels, a narthex with an upper gallery, a carved portal, and a bell tower. The 10th-century frescoes were repainted in the original style and more were added.

The fascinating facade of the chapel dates from the 12th century. Its multicolor stonework and arches give it an exotic appearance revealing Islamic influences. It is decorated with mosaics of red, white and black stone in geometric patterns, accented with reliefs carved of lighter stone.
Web site proof of Romanesque features: [Web Link]

Date of origin: 969

Type of building (structure): Church

Architect(s) if known: Not listed

Address: Not listed

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